In Pastor Jeff's Blog

But the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!” – Genesis 4:10

Twenty-five-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed while jogging in a coastal Georgia community on February 23, 2020. Why? Because he looked like someone who had been involved in recent burglaries in the neighborhood.

Recently someone has been rummaging through cars in my neighborhood. But I doubt anyone who saw me jogging would chase me down and shoot me. Why? Perhaps because I’m not young. Mostly, because I’m not black. Arbery was both.

Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis, did not see Arbery commit a crime. They simply saw him jogging and made an assumption all too common in white community: young, black men are criminals. The McMichaels weren’t even arrested until May 7 when cell phone video was leaked and showed the unprovoked shooting. Apparently, simply shooting an unarmed, innocent young black man isn’t sufficient for an arrest.

God hears the cries of innocent blood spilled. Do we?

For too long we have been content to say to ourselves, “I’m not racist. I don’t hate anyone based on the color of their skin.” The time is long past for white Christians to accept the reality that if we are not actively pursuing justice for people of color, we are complicit in the systems of oppression. We must move from “not racist” to “anti-racist”.

God’s call on our lives is this, “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” (Isaiah 1:17) Ahmaud Arbery, and all of our brothers and sisters of color, deserve nothing less.

If you’re not outraged, you should be. If you are outraged, do something about it.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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